Hi there!

I hope you had a great week and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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What a week it was!

We made serious progress on the new garden and let me be the first to tell you how amazing it looks so far! My assistant gardener was here for a few days helping us fix all the drainage and get the rest of that liriope and pachysandra out of the beds.

It was so much work and there were a lot more drainage issues than we realized before undertaking the task of cleaning this bed out. So good thing I wanted to remove all of that ground cover because this bed was a hot mess before making it look better. It is starting to take shape! What do you think?

cottage garden while fixing drainage and pulling out liriope

A Little Story

To fix some of the drainage, I had to shop around for some river rock. The last nursery we purchased from, I love, but their price was kind of high. So I stopped by another local nursery that I saw had the kind of stone we wanted. I’ve never shopped there before so I figured…why not stop in?

As I was perusing the pallets of rock, their prices were really good. They didn’t have much out in the way of plants because it is still early yet but the price per pallet was great! So I thought to myself, this could be a winner!

The owner approached me and I kid you not, was mansplaining me the entire time about rock, plants, and everything related to such. *eyeroll.

As I was giving him my address and order information, he was writing none of it down and telling me yeah yeah yeah I know where you are etc. Um…okay.

So the morning of delivery, he delivered to a house 100 numbers off of mine. I received a phone call that no one was home and they didn’t know where to put the stone. I said…I am home and you are at the wrong house. Whoops! Maybe if he spent a little more time listening to me about my address he would have gotten the delivery right.

But that’s not all!

So the guys delivered a few truckloads of stone. I didn’t go out and inspect right away because I let them do their thing and I was working on other things.

When my assistant arrived to move the stone to the garden for drainage, he texted me and said – this isn’t the river rock you ordered. So I ran outside and sure enough – they dropped off a bunch of 12-15″ boulders when I asked for 5-8″ river rock and pointed to the pallet that I wanted. UGH.

So I called the nursery owner and he wanted me to send him a picture to his cell phone and just started ordering his cell phone number to me like I had a paper and pen handy. I was like sir, give me a break here.

Had he not mansplained me the entire time I was at the nursery while I was telling him what I wanted to order and giving him my address, he probably would have delivered to the right place and given me the correct order!

If there is one thing that drives me nuts is when I walk into a car repair place or deal with any sort of service person, to be mansplained and spoken down to. I wish they knew how awful they sounded and how stupid I think they are for telling me how it is instead of LISTENING. He might as well have called me “toots” during the conversation with his tone and manner.

But you know what? He corrected all his mistakes and I got the stone for a great price so would I order again from there for a pallet of stone? Yes! Would I stop in to buy anything else? 100% No. So there’s that.

hand bouquet of hellebores

Spring Plantings

I dropped by one of my favorite local nurseries and snagged some pansies, ranunculus, lettuce, cilantro, and dill.

Now you might be thinking what will you do with your plants after planting when it’s supposed to get cold again next week? And that’s a great question!

Pansies are cold-tolerant flowering annuals, so they thrive in cooler temps. Here in my zone 6b garden if you plant them in the fall, they overwinter well and bounce back in the spring. This means I can get two seasons out of them instead of just one. So the ones I just planted this week? They’ll be fine!

I did also pot up a planter with ranunculus and cordyline while also planting some lettuce and cool-season herbs – that I may cover if the temperatures drop low enough but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. We’ll see.

I also started my gomphrena, yarrow, ageratum, bells of Ireland and strawflowers from seed this week. My snapdragons all sprouted under the lights so I just removed the covers from them this week too.

sunset and pansies in spring garden 2024

I’ve been doing some shopping for garden accessories this week and found some great stuff you should check out!

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE these garden spheres as a hanging basket!!!! Aren’t they so cool? I want to the medium and large and look for a place that’s close to a water source with a good strong tree limb to hang them from. I could hang them from the porch but I think I want them out in the beds somewhere.
  • I also want to get this topiary frame for some planters that I have. I love that look don’t you? They will add some architecture to the gardens. Chris will love that.
  • And I’m also loving this beautiful urn planter too. I think I want to tuck it in the new cottage garden.

I also did some shopping around for myself – I love vintage tee-shirts and wanted to spruce up my look for spring. Here are a few things I bought.

Garden Supplies I Bought

With the season well underway, I am stocking up! Here’s what I bought this week

  • I like to use a good-quality, potting soil, garden soil, compost, and perlite when planting, so I picked up some bags so I’m ready to go as I pick up plants and divide perennials.
  • Deer are a huge problem here. I use this deer repellent with great success. But now, I’m all about this deer repellent that is systemic instead of topical. This means the plant takes it in as opposed to it just smelling bad. Since it is so early in the growing season, I want to start applying this one early so there’s less maintenance to do long term.
  • Where pest and disease problems are concerned, if I need to, I generally use this insecticidal soap or neem oil to help control infestations depending on the issue. So I’m stocking up on a few bottles so I’m ready to go when issues crop up.
  • I also bought my favorite set-and-forget slow-release fertilizer for houseplants, annuals, and container gardens. This is a must-have for continual blooms and lots of healthy growth!
  • I use this organic fertilizer and ran out after feeding my roses two weeks ago. So I needed to get more.
container garden for spring filled with spreading pansies, ranunculus and cordyline

It was a fun week on the blog!

Margaret’s Marvelous Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Want to bake authentic Irish soda bread like a pro? This family favorite recipe from my good friend Margaret is easy, delicious, and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

margaret's marvelous irish soda bread close up

Growing Gomphrena

Are you craving vibrant, low-maintenance blooms? Look no further than Gomphrena! This easy-care flower boasts endless summer color and long-lasting beauty. Learn how to grow and care for globe amaranth with these simple tips.

gorgeous front porch planters with gomphrena, supertunias, superbells and angelonia with garden treasures from the thrift store

Lessons Learned Growing Cut Flowers From Seed Indoors

Learn valuable lessons I learned from my seed-to-bloom journey. Discover which varieties thrived indoors and which ones I’d skip next time!

hand bouquet with cut flowers from my garden

How to Keep Fresh Flowers Longer

Stop throwing away your flowers and follow these simple hacks to extend their vase life dramatically. Learn how to keep fresh flowers longer in a few simple steps.

milk glass vase with zinnia flowers in zen garden on back porch
Milk Glass Vase with Zinnia Flowers

Homemade Weed Killer With Vinegar

Looking for easy ways to get rid of weeds naturally? This post shares a simple recipe for homemade weed killer with vinegar that works, plus some bonus methods to kill weeds naturally.

potager garden in spring at sunrise with raised beds and daffodils

Easy Chicken Salad With Grapes

Craving a classic? Wait until you try this easy chicken salad with grapes sandwich that can be ready in 15 minutes!

close up of chicken salad with grapes sandwiches on mini croissants sandwiches
Chicken Salad with Grapes

I love finding cool inspiration from around the web and wanted to share some of what I’m loving right now.

If you enjoy these posts, you can find past Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly posts here.

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

spreading pansies with purple flowers

Garden Supplies I Use

Since I’ve been gardening for well over twenty-five years, I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. Here are some of my favorites that I use in no particular order.

dahlia kogane fubuki in the potager garden

Click here to shop my favorite garden supplies!

Buy My Book!

Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.

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daffodil garden in early spring

Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 178

Hi there! I hope you had a great week! Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms What a week it was! We had a massive earthquake here on Friday morning (for New Jersey) and it was really scary! It was centered very close to where I live and was a 4.8! At…
Read More Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 178
variety of vibrant dahlia flowers in a colorful cut flower garden

Small Space Gardening: The All-You-Need Guide to Growing Showstopping Dahlias in Pots

Short on growing space but want to grow dahlias? This comprehensive guide empowers you to cultivate stunning dahlias in pots. Discover the right pot size, sun needs, feeding tips, and expert techniques for endless blooms.  If you’ve got limited growing space but still want to grow beautiful showy blooms, this post is for you! Today,…
Read More Small Space Gardening: The All-You-Need Guide to Growing Showstopping Dahlias in Pots

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden

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  1. Stacy
    What a great week. I know you are loving these warmer days. Thanks for sharing my planters. Can you believe someone trashed them? They are in great shape.